Players around baseball will take advantage of the opportunity to honor Jackie Robinson next Tuesday by wearing his famous No. 42.
04/11/2008 11:41 AM ET
Players will honor Jackie Robinson
Tuesday will mark rememberance of No. 42
The number was retired throughout baseball in 1997, but players are allowed to wear it on Jackie Robinson Day each season, which is celebrated on the anniversary of the day he broke baseball's color barrier -- April 15, 1947.
Garret Anderson will be among seven members of the Angels wearing No. 42.
"It's about civil rights. It's much bigger than baseball," Garret Anderson told The Los Angeles Times. "It's good to remember the people who paved the way."
Gary Matthews Jr., Vladimir Guerrero, Torii Hunter, Chone Figgins, Howie Kendrick and Darren Oliver will be the other Angels taking part.
Marlon Byrd said wearing No. 42 for the Rangers was the least he could do to honor a hero like Robinson.
"He's the reason I'm playing right now," Byrd told The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Everything he went through I couldn't even imagine. I can only appreciate."
Burke shines with bat, glove: Jamie Burke had a big hand in the Mariners' 7-1 win over the Rays on Wednesday. One pitch after hooking a potential home run ball foul, the catcher delivered a three-run homer on a full-count pitch that he thought would bust him inside.
"I was probably guessing more than anything and was able to keep it fair," Burke told The Seattle Times.
Burke also made a big play defensively at the plate, blocking home and tagging out Willy Aybar, who was attempting to score from second on a single to right field, where strong-armed Raul Ibanez plays.
"The ball was driven hard, but it was right at Raul and he made a perfect throw," Burke said of the one-hopper, which skipped hard on the artificial turf. "My main focus was catching the ball. If I got run over, I got run over."
Greinke impressive in shutout: Zack Greinke had his best stuff on Wednesday in the Royals' 4-0 win over the New York Yankees. Over eight innings, Greinke didn't allow a run while throwing 73 of 107 pitches for strikes.
"A lot of it is just mental toughness," Greinke told The Kansas City Star. "The defense did an amazing job of not making mistakes."
Troncoso sees benefits of changeup: Dodgers manager Joe Torre approached 25-year-old righty Ramon Troncoso at the end of Spring Training with one simple question.
"Do you understand English? You made the team," Torre told Troncoso, who had never pitched above Double-A.
Torre was impressed with Troncoso's sinker, but the Dominican also throws a slider and changeup that he learned from former Major League pitcher Danny Darwin, who was his pitching coach in Class A.
"He told me that my sinker was good enough to get me to Double A," Troncoso told The Los Angeles Times. "But he said that I needed a changeup to pitch in the Majors."
Ryan continues rehab assignment: B.J. Ryan pitched for the third time for Class A Dunedin Wednesday, throwing one perfect inning in his rehab assignment. Ryan threw 10 of his 13 pitches for strikes.
"I moved the ball around better, both sides of the plate tonight," Ryan told The Toronto Globe and Mail. "I had some pretty good sliders. The third time with a day off in between I felt pretty good."
Hensley making progress after surgery: The Padres may be getting an addition to the bullpen later this month as Clay Hensley is getting closer to returning from right shoulder surgery last September to repair a torn labrum. Hensley was scheduled to throw an inning against Minor Leaguers at extended Spring Training. Hensley said his right shoulder is much stronger now than it was last season, when even the act of brushing his teeth hurt. While he feels better, the Padres are not going to rush Hensley's return.
"Right off the bat, we're going to make sure he's healthy," manager Bud Black told The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Knee injury sends Floyd to DL: Cliff Floyd will miss four to six weeks after an MRI revealed a torn medial meniscus in his right knee. Floyd, who was placed on the disabled list retroactive to Monday, will undergo surgery Friday.
"Here we are again," said Floyd, who has missed significant portions of the past two seasons with injuries, told The Tampa Tribune. "Hopefully, I can come back in a couple of weeks and go from where I was going, because I felt like I was feeling pretty good at the plate."
MRI brings good news to Posada: Jorge Posada got some good news when an MRI on his right shoulder revealed there was nothing more than a strain.
"It's good news that it's not worse," Posada told The New York Daily News. "I was worried because my shoulder is part of what I do. I had surgery [in 2001] and I was worried that it was going to be the same. I'm happy that it's not."
Pineiro to make season debut on Sunday: After throwing 78 pitches for Triple-A Memphis on Tuesday night, Joel Pineiro is set to be activated from the disabled list and start for the Cardinals on Sunday in San Francisco.
"Some good things [in Tuesday's start], some things to talk about," St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It all comes down to whether or not he's ready to start up here."
Bay back to stealing bases on his own: Jason Bay definitely had some issues with his right knee last year, but thus far in 2008 his knee feels great, and he has been given the green light from manager John Russell when it comes to stealing bases.
"J.R. was here back in the day when I was 21 of 22," Bay told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, referring to the 2005 season. "There are times he might take it away from me, depending on the game situation. But, every time I've gone so far, it's been on my own."
Quintero remains in Astros' plans: Humberto Quintero cleared waivers Wednesday and has accepted his assignment to Triple-A Round Rock. Quintero hit .341 during Spring Training, but the Houston Astros decided not to keep three catchers, meaning Quintero had to then be designated for assignment since he was out of Minor League options.
"It's hard to find catching," manager Cecil Cooper told The Houston Chronicle. "This guy has the ability to be a Major League catcher and catch at this level. It's hard to find guys like that. I'm glad that he's with us and, hopefully, if things don't work out this year, he'll be with us next year and get an opportunity."
Mulder effective in comeback outing: Mark Mulder had an extended Spring Training start on Thursday, working five strong innings as he begins to work his way back to St. Louis. While throwing 56 pitches, Mulder struck out four, walked nobody and allowed just one hit.
"I think it's encouraging," St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak told MLB.com. "I don't think we're going to be able to truly know until he continues into real games. But the message I got today was that it was very positive."
Garza told to rest arm: The Tampa Bay Rays placed pitcher Matt Garza on the 15-day disabled list due to radial nerve irritation in his right arm. He has been told to rest for two weeks before being re-evaluated.
"I really don't know how this is going to break," manager Joe Maddon, who added that Garza could be back within four weeks, told The Tampa Tribune. "Doctors don't seem highly concerned. It seems like he's going to be well and fine in this definite amount of time and that he'll be able to come back and pitch as normal. I just don't know."
Nolasco moves from bullpen to rotation: Ricky Nolasco was limited to just four starts in 2007 after he went 11-11 as a rookie in 2006. But Nolasco was healthy enough to make the Marlins out of Spring Training this year. He opened the season in the bullpen but has moved back into the rotation and will make his first start on Friday.
"It's something I've had my mind set on all along," Nolasco told The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "Knowing I wasn't completely healthy all last year was tough to deal with, but I'm fine now and everything is falling in place for me so far. I'll try to make 30 starts or whatever I can get from here on out."
Cordero to be activated Sunday: The Nationals are being conservative with Chad Cordero. The closer, who opened the season on the disabled list because of tendinitis in his right shoulder, made an appearance with Class-A Potomac in which he looked ready to compete. But the Nationals will have him make one more appearance in the Minors before activating him Sunday.
"He probably could be [activated sooner] if we wanted," general manager Jim Bowden told The Washington Post. But pitching coach Randy St. Claire and manager Manny Acta "both felt strongly that one more outing to build up arm strength would be better for [Cordero], and I defer to them on that."
-- Red Line Editorial